Sears Shallow jet pump replaced, now it never stops

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by educateme, May 24, 2006.

  1. educateme

    educateme New Member

    May 8, 2006
    Hi I had the post from earlier about changing my shallow well jet pump for a new one, and I did manage to swap the units and resolder the copper pipes. I have a 3/4HP Sears Hydroglass Shallow Jet pump, on a 40 PSI Sears Bladder vertical pressure tank.

    I actually had to do the pump repair job twice since one of the 1 inch copper outlet pipes had a weeping leak at the screwin junction of the pipe to the plastic upper pump outlet hole, even though I had taped with lots of teflon etc.

    The first time I did this job 2 nites ago, things seemed OK (except for the water leak above) once the pump was running, it would go up to 60PSI and shut off, down to 40PSI and come on. I primed the pump by filling thru the small hole on top and then screwed in my pressure gauge in that hole.

    There was also some sort of a suction plug on the lower part of the Jet pump, near the Inlet side on the bottom, its NOT the draincock valve, but it is another plastic plug that has some suction when the pump is running, and if I turn off the pump, the water will run back out of this hole. I dont know if this is important, but tonite I did pull this plug out, and put it back in, whatever its for, it seems it could be an air control for the jet ?

    Meanwhile, since the first install had the leak, today I drained the water pressure from the system, unsoldered the vertical output pipe, reapplied the teflon tape and attached the pipe more tightly to the outlet and soldered it back, I think its good now.

    Note: On this pump there One inlet, and there are two Outlet ports. One is a vertical port, and that pipe goes up into my house water supply. The other port is horizontal and that has a pipe that goes out and down and attaches to the bottom of the pressure tank. All these pipes are 1 inch copper soldered joints. Only today I checked the air presssure on my tank when I guessed it was empty(since the pump would not shut off) and put in more air, the air PSI was empty. BTW: I did not check or measure my tank air pressure the first day, so I didnt think to compare it to now, but tank and water pressure seemed Ok til today

    Somehow, I think the pressure tank is losing air, maybe thru some valve on the pump, the pump will not shut off and it never reaches over 54 PSI according to the water pressure gauge. It is supposed to shut off at 60 PSI but doesnt get up to it.

    When I turn the pump off with the power switch I can then hear air and water passing thru the copper pipe that goes down to the pressure tank from the pump. It sounds like air and water are moving but there is no place that I can see air or water coming out. All faucets are closed. After about 1-2 minutes of this hissing and gurgling the pump pressure gauge drops to zero and the noise stops. There is some sort of leak, but where?

    I was wondering if there was any way to tell if the tank is any good, it seems to be holding 38 PSI on the air port. Maybe I somehow got the priming messed up with air in my lines, or the pump or pressure switch is clogged or the bladder broke on the tank.

    Surely the noise in the tank and pipes after I turn the pump off is a sign of something wrong......any ideas where I can look for air getting in, or out of the tank, or some other thing that might be broken? Is the Inlet check valve on the new pump going bad and letting air and water run down into the well?

    If the bladder on the tank failed inside would it still hold the air pressure in the top of the tank, and be able to keep the pressure inside, or is a broken bladder allowing air pressure to escape once the pump shuts off? I dont see air in my water when I run it. Right Now with no pump or water pressure in my home, the air tank is showing 38PSI with an air gauge, and it is hollow empty sounding when I bang on it.
    Sorry for the wordy mssg...What to do? Help!
  2. speedbump

    speedbump New Member

    Jul 15, 2005
    Water well and pump tech.
    Riverview, Fl.
    The tank will have nothing to do with the pumps pressure capabilities. If the pump cant get past 58 lbs. thats all it can do. If you bought the tank at the same place you bought the plastic pump, chances are it is bad.

    You must check the air in the tank when the pump is shut off and the gauge is at zero.

    It sounds like the pump is mounted on the tank, so it's hard to do the lean test on the tank to see how heavy it feels.

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  4. educateme

    educateme New Member

    May 8, 2006
    thinking about possible things that happened.....

    thank you for your experienced evaluations and direction.

    I got to thinking last night about what could have possibly changed since the other day when I first replaced the pump and things were fine except for my leak at a screw in pipe joint.

    When I used the torch to unsolder the collar on the vertical output pipe and removed the screwin leaky pipe and rewrapped with teflon tape and reseated the pipe, there might have been something that happened then.

    I was thinking of pulling the 2 halves of the circular pump jet body open to see if some HOT solder got down inside the vertical outlet hole when I was desoldering it, and the solder might have somehow melted through a chamber inside the pump and that is where the leak is coming from. It really sounds like the gurgle and hissing is inside the pump body area, although when i turn the pump off, all these pipes sound "busy" that are attached to the tank and pump.

    I will check the air tank today to see what the base pressure is on the bladder, and if it is holding 38PSI then I will conclude (maybe?) that the tank bladder is OK, and that my leak is more likely up in the pump body etc.

    This is all I can think of, since the whole thing was working fine until I had to undo it for the leaky pipe, and the most dangerous thing that could affect this system is a hot torch.

    Or a broken pipe somewhere that I cant see how its losing pressure since there is no water or air escaping externally anywhere now. its all being lost inside the pump and tank and pipes, but I cant find it. Do you think the solder would get hot enough to melt the inside of a pump or plastic (hydroglass) pumpbody or valve cavity?


    I am able to move the tank a little bit around on the basement floor, even though it has the pipes attached it moved an inch and it feels light, no water in it this AM

    right now the pump has lost its prime, I have bottled and buckets of water to use for some home needs and to prime it.

    I am tempted to take the whole thing apart and start from scratch, to find this new hidden leak. I would think that an external leak would show up from loud air coming out, or water but there is nothng I see, its internally escaping from somehere, to somewhere else, and I heard it. Wont hear it again until the pump is primed and I would rather fix it before i fill up with water AGAIN. ugh

    Note: when its running, I can see when the pump is pushing air or water out the outlet pipe since we have a cleartube water filter attached on the outlet about 5 ft from the pump. I can see sediment, and swirling and bubbles based on the pump working, or not.

    I also have cutoff ball valve between the pump vertical outlet and the filter and house lines, I close it when I did the pump work.

    And attached near the bottom of the air tank is a closed T, and a regular cold water outlet handle on the lower horizontal outlet pipe

    I wish this post had a way to show you a picture of the layout, sometimes apciture is worth a thousand words - as I am likely to type here unfortunately

    thank you everyone
    Last edited: May 25, 2006
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    You have to adjust the resolution and image size, but when making a post, scroll down to the manage attachments can then attach images of various types. Note, it won't show on preview, so don't bother.
  6. educateme

    educateme New Member

    May 8, 2006
    Latest findings, still no idea

    I REPRIMED THE PUMP, IT TOOK 30 MINS TO GET IT GOING, I GOT WATER PRESSURE BACK AND FILLED A BUNCH OF BUCKETS AND BOTTLES AND TOOK A QUICK SHOWER The pressure in the airtank when no water was in it was set to 40 psi today. I then primed the pump and got running water.

    The pump still will not shut off, it never reaches over 56psi and the kickoff is 60psi which it used to reach.

    Now when I turn off the pump the pressure starts to leak and I hear it running thru the pipes and the air tank but I cannot tell which way its going or where to. I can watch the pressure gauge fall from 56 to 40 psi in about 1-2 mins. and then when it gets to 40 psi it drops instantly to zero, I think thats because the pressure switch opens at 40psi and bleeds the last of the pressure off.

    Where the 56 to 40 psi is going i dont see. I checked the pipes and the small hose to the pressure switch, nothing seems to be leaking there.

    I had to split the pump casing apart to check the gasket 3 days ago, I am going to try to take it apart on friday and see if there is something i can see inside about how it might be leaking internally from one side of the pump to the other (if there is a low and high side to it?) and then I might have to cut all the pipes and pull the whole thing off and replace it, or try to rebuild it and look at what might be wrong.

    I dont think the air tank is bad, I assume that if it holds 40 psi with no water then the bladder must be intact, right?

    what else shall I look for? or try?

    thank you for advice......
  7. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Oct 20, 2005
    New Hampshire
    "Now when I turn off the pump the pressure starts to leak and I hear it running thru the pipes and the air tank but I cannot tell which way its going or where to. I can watch the pressure gauge fall from 56 to 40 psi in about 1-2 mins. and then when it gets to 40 psi it drops instantly to zero, I think thats because the pressure switch opens at 40psi and bleeds the last of the pressure off. "

    The pressure switch has nothing to do with the water pressure changing.

    The pressure drops instantly from 40 to zero because there is 40 psi of air in the empty tank. The air in the tank should be set 2 to 3 psi BELOW the START pressure of the pressure switch. It is probably too high for a pump with a 60 psi cutoff/stop pressure. The pressure will always drop "instantly" when all of the water goes out of the tank; when the tank is empty of water.

    The pressure drops from 56 to 40 because some water is escaping from the system, either through an open valve, or a leak, or a check valve failure.
  8. educateme

    educateme New Member

    May 8, 2006
    You are correct, a hidden spigot leak closed and now we hit cutoff at 60 thank you

    I went for a walk to see where the end of the hose was thats attached to a spigot at the bottom of the air tank

    the hose was open and spilling

    i closed the tap and deduced the spigot on the tank is bad, i had thought it was closed, I guess not

    so it was a simple thing that caught me

    I did fix it, and I did swap the pumps, it was a small ordeal but through the help and pointers of many of you knowledgable people it is done...I think

    i do have 2 water filters to replace now and those have pipes and soldering and crimp style ends which seem to be leakers Ive seen?

    again thx

  9. educateme

    educateme New Member

    May 8, 2006
    All fixed now, broken spigot on tank was hooked to hose outside

    In a stroke of luck I walked outside and noticed a hose running in the yard that is attached to the lower pipe coming from the tank and pump. This pipe has a water spigot to drain the tank, then hose was attached and runs outside to drain the tank.

    I had been able to open and close that spigot normally so I THOUGHT it was working. Turns out that this spigot has broken inside and that it never closes. So I closed the outside drain spigot at the other end of the hose and once the pressure built up in the hose the pump stopped at 60 PSI

    I will have to replace that spigot as I think ultimately this hose is not going to be able to stand having steady 60 PSI on it, day and nite, and further if it broke in my basement one day when I am away, it will cause a huge flood as the well runs away.

    So Bob youre advice about the loss of pressure and the water running out was exactly correct, I want to thank you for the help. I will go get a spigot today and plan to replace that tonite.

    thank you again everyone

  10. educateme

    educateme New Member

    May 8, 2006
    Its fixed, have to replace faulty spigot on bottom of air tank

    I found the leak was coming out thru a bad spigot valve on the tank side of the pump, its attached to a hose going outside that i failed to see until last night

    I closed the hose, the pump built up to 60 psi and shut off

    it has held pressure all day

    now I have to drain it again to get the spigot changed out, glad this is nearing an end

    filters are next pipe job

    thx again everyone

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